Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Topless Tuesday with Xandah

When my wife logged in last night I was browsing for studio props on the SL Marketplace and showed her a camera with poses from What Next. A few minutes later, it was in my Received Items folder, a gift from Angela. Clearly, she wanted me to use it so I did. A few minutes with Xandah and another prop I found at Magnificent Poses then a few more minutes in Pixelmator ... BAM. I got my Topless Tuesday pic! Look for more in the Topless Tuesday in SL Flickr group here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Skin Check

My Real Life skin is starting to show its age. Don't scoff, but I'm mid-Twenties now and I'm seeing changes. The freckles of my youth are gone (pout pout), some of my scars have softened, a couple mole-like things have popped up, and I'm getting some crinkles in the corners of my eyes. I'll call the latter laugh lines until the crows come claim them. All this made me think of my Second Life skin.

Since I was "born" on the Main Grid I've really had just four skins. Like most women, I have a dozen or so but really I've worn the same basic four – with the exception of an extended spotted neko period – for some 8 years now. Before I start a look at them, though, here's the details of the comparison photo shoot first:

Bree's Appleblossom Windlight
Advanced Lighting ON with Graphics Preferences set to High.
NO post-process enhancements

Hair: TRUTH Harley (less volume)
Eyes: The Skinnery Lovers Eye - Storm
Jewelry: primOptic Blues glasses and mfj Adrienne Round-Cut Stud Earrings

Got it? Good. Let's go ...

My first skin after ditching the noobie skin with permapanties: CS Passport Skin - Malibu/Brown Understated. It was free. Back in 2006 it looked darn good, too. On the Teen Grid I wore the starter avatar skin and this was certainly an upgrade. I kept it 'til April of 2010 so it had a good run.

At that time I grabbed Curio GP Acorn Frex [Dark] Sunny - Pure 1 (two makeup sets and two shades for when I felt normal or tanned). The freckles rocked and I love the mouth. Of all the skins I've had over the years I still think it is the best mouth. The ears are good, too. If I could have bought appliers for my SLink body parts or my big fake boobs, I would have stayed with this skin. After waiting and waiting and writing to the maker I finally started shopping.

In June 2013 I decided after a TON of shopping to buy the unBra Indigo C62 set without makeup. It was friggin' expensive even before buying the appliers but unlike the highlights on so many other skins  – especially on the nose – were not blown out. Despite the skin supposedly not having makeup, though, it's pretty obvious there's some mascara there on the base skin. The other skins in the set have even more mascara and added eye shadow. All the lipsticks are on a tattoo layer (yah ... strange) and I don't like any of them. As much as I like this skin, though, it isn't very natural. When I wear this I feel like I really know how to use concealer and foundation. No freckles whatsoever and no "real skin" marks unless I add them via tattoos and underwear. This is my go-to skin for when I'm in a dress or something that requires me to look a bit more girly than I normally wish to be at the time. Not too long ago I splurged on an alt's upgrade and bought another skin from unBra (SLurl) but I probably should have given more consideration to a similar skin from The Skinnery (more in a moment).

After visiting The Skinnery (SLurl) several times (before and after buying the unBra skin) I indulged and bought The Skinnery Sasha Bare Face Toffee seven months after the unBra skin investment. This shop's skins have be the most realistic by far. The price was good though now that it includes appliers for Lolas implants it is a better value. Buying the SLink appliers was a bit confusing but the creator (Umazuma Metaluna) was very helpful, so much so I even joined the shop group (L$200 I wouldn't ordinarily spend) as a thank you. There is a "defect" tattoo layer for more moles and freckles on the body but I seldom wear it. Sometimes I add a freckle layer on the face, like in my Profile Pic from July 2014 (see here). One of the best Profile pics I've ever had (see here) is also with this skin.

About that alt I should have had shop at The Skinnery ... She would have looked great but for the effect I was going for I stuck with unBra despite the much higher price. No, you can't see a picture, though if you peruse my Flickr stream you might catch a glimpse of her. Still, I did send my little pixy to The Skinnery. It's something about they eyes. Just fabulous.

Yes, it almost hurt to make Zyx lose her blueness but this skin is just so fabulous. The fantasy skins from The Skinnery are nice but they weren't right for her though she looks great in the Anais Bare Face Ebony skin. Her big sister upgraded to a nice blue fantasy skin a few months after this purchase (see here) and little Zyx will get that skin one day, but big Zyx will get one of these, too. After all, they are sisters, right?

Freckles call me, though, and I want more. Hopefully The Skinnery will release Cinzia (see here) as a skin base for those of us who don't use a mesh head and I can finally get my freckles back.

Mari's Magics

As I was unable to attend last night's fireworks at Livingtree (SLurl), a weekly event during the Summer months, so I was pleased to see that my buddy Zyx Flux posted some images to her MySL account. Here are a few and some of her commentary.

"Ha! Can't get me!!"
Looks like she put herself in a safety bubble. With Marianne McCann behind the controls this was probably prudent.
"Mari and the magic dancing. That must be how she does this."
Looks like Mari needed a bubble, too, as it seems she caught on fire.
"I don't know how Mari does without a bubble. Or sees. Breathes."
Mari is an experienced pyro and can probably hold her breath for really long times.
"No screen is big enough."
Zyx is right. It is hard to see the whole show so camming around is best if lag permits.
"The Rainbow is the end of the show."
Yes, the saddest rainbow in Second Life because it means the show is over but there's another in a week. Visit Livingtree (SLurl) Saturdays at 8PM SLT.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Caturday Naps

Having a lazy Caturday. I hope you have a good one, too.
zzzZZZz ... cheezeburgr ... zZZZzzz
zzzZZZz ... no no no don' leik mouses ... zZZZzzz
oh. hay, baby. I was dreamin' 'bout you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clueless Topless Tuesday

After a long hard day in Real Life and trying to recuperate by moving as little as possible afterward (though others in my household felt I should keep moving) I had a fabulous idea for a Topless Tuesday picture. None of the following are the aforementioned picture as for some reason it never left my head.

It all started with adjusting my shape so it would work with the bikini bottoms on this mesh body from The Shops. It's Topless Tuesday, after all, not Bottomless Tuesday. This irks me as for the most part my body is the "Standard for Mesh" but when wearing a fitted mesh body rigged mesh clothes doesn't work.
Of course, The Girls aren't standard anything so I had to adjust the heck out of the pose with my AnyPose HUD. Then after forgetting my original idea my second shot was going to be part of a four panel Warhol-esque treatment.
After messing with dozens of Windlight settings to run with the 2nd idea I zoomed in to fill the frame as the nice Kodak photography lecture series professionals always tell you. Only now do I notice the smidgen of bikini that shouldn't be there. Still, the frame is more filled.
I zoomed in even more! This is Strawberry Singh's flat studio lighting Windlight, by the way.
Like the first picture, this is a slightly tweaked Torley's Sunrise - Liz Gluft Windlight setting. I rather like it and it has been my go-to setting for just being in SL for about a week.
I don't know why, but I have to make pictures of myself with crossed eyes and a surprised look. This is a from-scratch Windlight I call My Beautiful Day.
I'm loading only the last one up to the Topless Tuesday in SL Flickr group but head there to see how others are observing the day. Happy Topless Tuesday!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Eyes Have It

Thinking about having bigger eyes. What do you think?

Made with an online animated GIF maker.

Le Botanique

Liara (Kemicq) Okiddo has once again created a marvelous scenic landscape, perfect in nearly every way. In this lush section of forest a perpetual rain is actually as welcome as a fuzzy blanket for the atmosphere it creates. One can almost smell the greenery and feel the warmth of Le Botanique (SLurl). As with Isla Okiddo (see here), Liara has carefully added elements one-by-one to be form an extraordinarily cohesive environment. A visual treat from every angle. Here are a few pictures I shot today but I highly encourage you to visit Liara's Insights into building 'Le Bontanique' Flickr group for not only more pictures but for detailed commentary on her building process.

My photographer, Zyx, enjoying a break after the morning's shoot.
Click any image to embiggen them or see them on my Flickr feed here. My graphics were set to High and Advanced Lighting was off as it slowed the rain effect to a crawl leaving just streaks of light as if I had used a flash attachment.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Best of Intentions for a New World

With great excitement the other day I ran about the newly remodeled LR Portal Park 1 (now simply called The Portal Park; SLurl), the region once used as the gateway to the Linden Realms game grid. When The Cornfield game was announced (see here) and released the region was given a make over so it would be a portal for not just Linden Realms, but for the new Experience Key-based game and several other wonderful Linden-created games and attractions. In my excitement I promised a soon-to-be-published blog post with many pictures and more information based on personal exploration.

Lately, though, I've had little desire to even get out of bed. Except for what I must do in Real Life (it is no secret I'm a Care Giver) I accomplish so very little it is almost laughable. If I could laugh. I'm stuck in one of my regular depressive lows. Until I can get a manic high again or at least up to a so-called normal I present my pictures as posted on My.Secondlife.com in the last week in lieu of something more original. Click each picture to see the original post (though the caption of each picture is more or less from the original post so the seeing the original isn't a time saver).

LR Portal Park 1 now takes you to The Wilderness and The Grid Hunt as well as Linden Realms and the new Cornfield. Note: The old Corn Field – two words, not one – still exists (SLurl).
Left to right: Ancient Mole and NaughtyMole on the bench. Abnor Mole looking griefer-y, me, and Alexa Linden!
The LDPW Moles have really gone above and beyond in this creation.
Selfie with Troy Linden.
Left to right: A Reseident I don't know, Bat Mole, Ancient Mole, Naughty Mole, and Kona Linden.
Tea Party?
Tea Party! And the source of some silly hats I've seen people wearing.
One of the silly hats you can get at the Tea Party.
My original guess that this is a portal to Social Island (SLurl) was wrong. It is simply a decorative gathering spot.
Me and Patch Linden in the new Portal Park. Amazing makeover.
I was able to trade Bears with a few Lindens and Moles. If you visit, don't hesitate to ask for a Bear or, better yet, trade your personalized Bear.
I wonder what Gnome Village is ...
The Gnome Village isn't really a portal but a fun, scenic place.
There's an un-named portal that looks scary ,.. lightning, rain, ruins, and an armoured car.
Of course, there's The Cornfield itself. Check out the video from The Lab and then head on over (you'll need a test viewer available here) and try it yourself.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Topless Tuesday Yoking Around

For quite some time I've had a animated yoke with water pails made by Knickknack in my inventory and never had a use. Today, I decided that must stop. In the last several days I've been pretty merciless in deleting stuff I don't need and storing stuff I like but don't use. My total inventory count is down by some 5,0000 items. The yoke's life was running short. So I dug out a favorite BINA Slutress dress that I haven't worn in some time, hoisted up the yoke, and stood outside my house.

Then I broke down and leaped into Pixelmator to improve a truly mediocre picture. Added some sun rays, some lens flare, touched up some obvious plant issues, tweaked this then tweaked that and the shot turned out as you see it above. Below is the original.

Enjoy this one here as only the final one will be added to the Topless Tuesday in SL Flickr group.
It is really topless, though? Technically, I'm wearing a top but the girls have been hauled out. There are those that will argue the point and there are those that will just giggle to themselves and keep saying "boobies" in a low, squeaky voice. The latter camp is where I lean, but about 15 years after blooming I'm still tickled to have a (generous) pair. This week I'll go shopping for more photo props that I can leave unused before I decided to delete, store, or get off my (generous) buns and finally use.

Monday, July 14, 2014


The Watermill in Minna (SLurl)
Ansi Soderstrom. One of those people helped Second Life be silly and now we must carry on being silly for her.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Harbinger Haven Sandbox Closed

Clichés about loss are running through my mind but this is not a time for platitudes. The Harbinger Haven Sandbox (SLurl) is closed. Another Second Life institution is gone. In a note card dated 11 July 2014 at almost half-past 11 PM SLT, the owners made the announcement. Visiting a little more than 12 hours later, most of the land has been cleared and given some attractive landscaping. 32,064m2 for L$250,000 (L$7.8/m2), well beyond what I can afford up front and in tier costs. 

I would have left it exactly as it was last seen, right down to the last prim.

Here's the announcement:

Greetings Harbinger Haven Builders,

It is not without some sadness that we must announce that Bell & I will be selling the property that has hosted Harbinger's Haven Builder's Sandbox for so many years. There are a number of reasons we have decided to do this, but I'm not going to discuss those here. Things change and everything must come to an end sometime and HH's time has come.

It has been a great pleasure for both Bell and I to have provided a safe and educational place for Second Life residents to build or just hang out. We have met a lot of wonderful people and made some enduring friends. We have always thought of our builders as part of a big family and so it is not easy to move on, but we must.

It is my hope (dream) that whoever buys the property will carry on our tradition of altruism for the sake of a better SL for all, but there is no guarantee of that and it's probably quite unlikely. However, if any one or group of you would like to buy the land and assume its tier to keep it a sandbox or other altruistic endeavor, then I would love to discuss a deal with you in which I will offer a discounted price on the property. The tier I can do nothing about unfortunately. Please contact me vie IM as soon as possible if such a deal interests you.

Meanwhile, you will no doubt notice as things start to be removed from the parcels in the coming weeks (we're not sure how long the process will take). Please feel free to come here to build right up until the property is sold. Once the property is sold the Harbinger's Haven Builder's Sandbox and Harbinger's Haven Mavens groups will be dissolved, which may involve ejecting members who have not left voluntarily at that point. If you have questions, please direct them toward Adrian and he will attempt to reply as promptly as he can.

Both Bell and I are grateful for the time we operated Harbinger's Haven Builder's Sandbox and will always remember it and you with great fondness.

Very Best Regards,
Adrian Harbinger & Bellissa Dion
Owners Harbinger Haven Builder's Sandbox

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Topless Tuesday with Pixelmator

After creating a simple but still nice set in an adult sandbox, choosing a pose and wardrobe, tweaking the lighting just right and then breaking it all down and logging out to put some final tweaks on what could have been a very nice Topless Tuesday pic ....

I saw the shadows. Right there on the flat backdrop that I had intended to blur out. Shadows that wouldn't have appeared if I had used a 3D background instead of a textured prim.

Instead of popping into Acorn, a fast and simple photo editor that I love, and doing the minor tweaks I knew the image would need I decided it was time to finally learn the feature for which I bought Pixelmator, the "paint to select" feature to remove the unexpected and hitherto un-noticed problem. If you have any experience with image editors then you know that making complex selections is hard and removing elements is well-nigh impossible. People who can afford Adobe Photoshop can wave a "wand" and poof the unwanted bits are gone, perfectly blended with the rest of the image. A great feature for $9.99/month. I bought Pixelmator for $29.99 total. Once. And it does the same thing, as you can see below.

Click to embiggen any image or visit this one on Flickr in the Topless Tuesday in SL group.
Happy Topless Tuesday!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Etv @ the Arboretum

One of the fun uses of MySecondLife.com is to quickly tell a story. If you saw these photos below posted on the site today, though, you would have seen them out of sequence. That is a frequent bug of late but at least the service is working.

Am I on?
Where are you pointing that thing?
(*whispers* in three ... two) A new exhibit at the Bay City Arboretum of Rather Atypical Vegetation has some residents worried. A new plant frightening in appareance is outside the main entrance.
So I asked the plant, who identified himself as Phil O'Dendren, "Are you, ineed, dangerous?"
Reporting from the Arboretum in Bay City - Dennis for Etv News, this ..... erggffff